MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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Exceptional POSTMARKS, unusual STAMPS, informative BLOGS, selected POSTAL HISTORY (see Means of Delivery in Subjects), enjoy it! I do!



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CONFEDERATE sloop-of war transfers YANKEE P.O.W.s to DANISH brig, St. Croix postal history
1863 letter written April 13 by semi-literate Dudley K. Dow to his "mothere" Mrs Thomas Dow, Deer Isle, Maine, USA stating that he had been taken by the Felardy (his hearing/understanding for the Florida) and "Cent in to Cante Croix", his postscript in ink confirms that his stay on the island has been dull "the times hire is dool" but mentions "we shell leave here to day For home", posted in small envelope, slightly trimmed at left, with handstruck SHIP and "5" (due) in black and landed with red BOSTON/MY 6/MASS d/ring. On March 12th 1863 the Danish brig “Christian” took into St. Croix prisoners recently transferred from the Confederate States Steamer (C.S.S.) “Florida”. The “Florida” was a sloop-of-war serving as a highly successful commerce raider in the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War. She was built in Liverpool and departed England 22 March 1862, and after a collision with a United States Army Transport troop ferry sank on 28 November 1864. The Florida captured 37 prizes during her short impressive career. Two books cover this event: “The Life and Services of John Newland Maffitt” (captain of the C.S.S. Florida). On Page 283 of the journal is mention of capturing the bark M. J. Colcord from New York bound Cape Town on 30 March 1863, and their transfer to the Danish brig Christian some 37 hours later on 1 April 1863. “The High Seas Confederate” book, Page 83, confirms that Maffitt captured “a propaganda” ship, the M.J. Colcord on 30 March 1863, transferring provisions from the prize, that the master of a Danish brig agreed to take all the remaining prisoners, and that Maffitt burned the M.J. Colcord.
£6500





"V" day, Meikles shop celebrates with "a dummy of Hitler in a real coffin", Rhodesia postal history
1945 use of 3d Victoria Falls ACTIVE SERVICE AIR LETTER headed "V" day!!! Tuesday 8th May pmk'd GWELO 8 MAY 45 to F/Lt E. Thompson, No.2. E.V.T. Instructors School, R.A.F. Middle East from his very worried and loving wife with salutation "My own adorable little Welsh Husband" with contents including "listening to London last night when we heard the news flash - it seems almost too good to be true" and "we shall listen to Mr. Churchill at 3, and again to the King at 9 o'clock". There is mention of "Gwelo looking "quite gay" with flags flying everywhere", and that Meikles Window for "V" day is lined with black crepe and they have "obtained a real "coffin" in which they have placed a dummy of Hitler". An exceptional end of war item for the KG6 collector; a Waterfalls thematic collector; and a sensational item for anyone exhibiting Postal Stationery.
VE Day stands for Victory in Europe Day which took place on Tuesday May 8, 1945, VE Day was the day on which the allied forces announced the surrender of Germany in Europe. It marked the end of Adolf Hitler's war and sparked celebrations around the world. The day before at 2.41pm on May 7, 1945 Germany had surrendered. This special Active service Letter Card was for use by servicemen, and civilian use was forbidden and any such usage resulted in surcharge.
£925


GREAT BRITAIN to INDIA postal history combination
1864 cover marked "via Marseilles and Bombay" to Charles Norman Pochin (1826-1870, East India Company Official), Madras c/o forwarders Arbuthnot & Co with GB QV 1d, 4d, 6d tied Bath "53" duplex dated I/NO 3 64, on arrival India QV 2a yellow added tied both ARBUTHNOT & Co company handstamp and MADRAS "1" duplex dated DE 6 for re-direction to Chiglepett, b/stamped red CHIGLEPUT DE 6 dbl-arc arrival clear of missing side flap.
£425


INCORRECT VICTORIAN GRAMMAR on PREPARATION PROOF SHEET with UNISSUED VERTICAL LINED PAPER
1866 QV 1d pale rose INLAND REVENUE on UNISSUED vertical laid paper stamps, a generally fine and fresh IMPERFORATE complete sheet of twelve stamps showing the two units of six stamps laid down and aligned for printing purposes (unlike BADLY ALIGNED Sheet 256) within the full marginal inscriptions including One Penny Each - One Shilling per Sheet. at base (changed on issued sheets) on gummed paper sheet numbered 258 at top left. Some slight creasing. Note: The initial delivery is thought to be Sheets 1 to 250 making a total of 3,000 stamps being issued on horizontal laid paper with base inscription reading One Penny each - One Shilling per Sheet. - the change from Each to each being made at preparation stage due Victorians being fussy about incorrect grammar. Only three imperforate sheets (numbered 256,257,258) are currently known with the original "Each" setting, and each showing differing adjustments to the lining up of the two units. Morley in 1910 reported the existence of these stamps on vertical laid paper but both Britnor (1965) and Robson Lowe (1990) were unable to confirm their existance in their handbooks. Sheets 251 to 260 are therefore printer’s unissued preparation sheets. The "Each" error was not noticed by philatelists until 2001 (135 years later!).
£1500




Proofed/unrecorded ERRONEOUSLY APPLIED unique TRINCOMALEE/RETURNED FOR POSTAGE,CEYLON postal history
1845 wrapper from C. Brun fils, Port Louis pmk'd red MAURITIUS POST OFFICE d/ring dated NO 05 1845 marked "via Ceylon" to Veillon Freres, Bordeaux, France with "Paid 1/8" in dark black ink most unusually landed on Ceylon's north east coast (instead of the southern port of Galle) showing prepared for application TRINCOMALEE/RETURNED FOR POSTAGE datestamp for NO 22 1845 erroneously applied, crossed through, and TRINCOMALEE/STEAMER LETTER added for the next day in the same coloured ink. Carried via ALEXANDRIA (JA 7 1846) with 25mm chisels slits and large part PURIFIE AU LAZERET/MALTE handstamp added showing red PAQ. ANG. MARSEILLES (16 JANV 46) on address panel and Bordeaux (10 JANV 46) arrival backstamp with 96 decimes to be collected. Exhibition item collecting cancellations from five different countries.
Similar RETURNED FOR POSTAGE datestamps were proofed for other Ceylon towns but none are known used. This remarkable example only exists due being wrongly applied.
£7250



PSRE from COUVA with REGISTRATION NOT ACTIVATED, Trinidad postal history
1890 use of QV 2d PSRE with added QV 4d grey, pair QV 6d olive-black (SG.110,111) pmk'd COUVA B/NO 6 90 to Bishop Auckland, England arriving A/NO 20 90 being an extremely rare example of quadruple 4d postage but due failure to transit through Port Of Spain (circumstances of interruption not yet established) the 2d registration fee could not be employed resulting in there being no Head Office transit cds, no registration label affixed by Port of Spain, and no hooded REGISTERED LONDON transit cds being all the requirements of secure mail.
Mail left Port of Spain NO 6 1890, arrived Barbados NO 8 1890, arrived Plymouth NO 19 1890 as per RMSP homeward schedule attached.
£350



Wreck of the 'Schiller' (Hoboken N.J, Scilly Isles, Germany's "Titanic"), Canada postal history
THE ONLY RECORDED WRECK COVER ORIGINATING FROM CANADA marked "Via United States" with Small Queen 2c green x 2, QV 6c brown x 2 pmk'd HALIFAX N.S. A/AP 22 75 duplex to The Manager, The Imperial Bank, Lothbury, London taken from the wrecked S.S. Schiller on the Retarrier Ledges, Scilly Isles to London where red London Paid 10 MY 75 cds applied, reverse with handwritten contemporary endorsement of "This Envelope was down in the Sr. Ship Schiller wrecked on a rock off the Scilly Isles in the month of May 1875".
Accompanied by a wonderfully easy to read pre-owned copy of "The Victorian Titanic".
£3000

ST. VINCENT postal history
1886 cover with printed sender's initials flap to S. Chapman, West Hampstead, London with the 4d rate most unusually paid by QV ½d green strip of three, QV 2½d on 1d lake (SG.47,40) tied Kingstown C/MY 6 86 cds, alongside a fine strike of a PML handbook unlisted boxed "TOO LATE" (34 x 8½mm, low cross-bar in "A").
£825

BAHAMAS postal history
1868 cover to Henry Dunn, New York with QV 4d Chalon tied "A05" with fine BAHAMAS OC 17 1868/C dbl-arc on upper flap which can fully display showing NEW YORK OCT 25 arrival with "3" due. Handstruck "CANNOT BE FOUND" and NEW YORK POST OFFICE/OCT 30/ADVERTISED oval with New York NOV 30 return cds on reverse.
£525


QUEENSLAND postal history
1875 Wagstaff family cover from California with U.S. 3c x 2, 10c tied segmented cork cancels with adjacent red SAN FRANCISCO PAID cds dated MAR 8 and marked "per City of Melbourne Ship" to John Wagstaff, Agricultural (Station?), Rockhampton, Queensland forwarded with tied Queensland QV 2d blue to Lily Vale via Gainsford, backstamped Brisbane AP 5 75 with Rockhampton AP 9 75 arrival and forwarded Rockhampton AP 22 75 with Lilly Vale MY 3 1875 arrival. An exceptional combination.
On JA 1 1874 the rate to all Australian Colonies, New Zealand and Fiji was reduced to 2d.
£3000


MAIL TO THE WRITER OF THE WHITE HORSES OF WILTSHIRE, Canada postal history
1868 cover to The Reverend W. Ch. Plenderleath (1831-1906), Cherhill Rectory, Calne, Wiltshire with QV 12½c tied Quebec oval of bars with cds dated FE 1 68, reverse very fine Chippenham A/FE 21 68 arrival. Accompanied by good condition copy of his illustrated book.
Travelled by Allen Line "S.S. Austria" sailing from Portland FE 9 68 arriving Liverpool FE 20 68.
£225



MAIL TO CRIMEAN WAR GENERAL WHO INVENTED A HEATED CANNONBALL AS A BED-WARMER, Canada postal history
1863 cover to General Higginson, 9 Wilton Crescent, London with QV 12½c tied Montreal duplex dated AP 17 63.
Grenadier Guards General Sir George Wentworth Alexander Higginson was born in Wilton Crescent Belgravia and during the Crimean War improvised a bed-warmer for the freezing nights by heating up a cannonball in the campfire.
£225







THE UNIQUE B.W.I. "DOUBLE COUNTRY" JAMAICA and BAHAMAS SAILOR'S CONCESSIONARY RATE ENTIRE
1835 entire "From Alexander Spain on board His Majestys Brig Wasp" to his sister Charlotte Spain in Southampton countersigned on face by J.N. Syke, Lt. Acting Commanding Officer with "Paid 1" in horizontal oval and matching red ink LIVERPOOL AP 14 1835 arrival backstamp. Written at Port Royal, Jamaica 12th February, travelled with him to Belize, with cross-written finish at Nassau, Bahamas 12th March with "since writing the first part we have been with troops to Honduras in New Spain and thence to this place on the same errand". Opening tear into address panel hardly detracts, some small internal splits but clean with delightful content including mention of fond memories of picking buttercups and daisies on their way to school.
No privilege rate countersigned pre-stamp Sailor's letters are currently recorded from Jamaica (which is quite extraordinary for such a large island) or the Bahamas, and the only two recorded entires as such for the B.W.I. group, are from Antigua (HMS Pique MY 26 1845) with rate paid by attached sewn 1d coin, and 1d paid from Alexander to his sister Charlotte Spain on the Wasp while again at Belize 30 June landed Dartmouth 29 August 1835. The "Wasp" was built during 1811-12 and at this time was on duty on the North America and West Indies station with 85 officers and men, 24 boys, 20 marines. Alexander Spain was a first class boy waiting to be rated. He mentions homecoming in about 20 months - the Wasp arrived Portsmouth 15 April 1837 having left Jamaica 11 February but during a gale on 4 April she lost her foremast and straps plus her bowsprit during a mid-Atlantic collision with the Elizabeth due poor visibility.
£2800

RIVERTON, NEW ZEALAND to INDIA postal history
1866 cover to Grindlay & Co., Calcutta with QV 2d strip of three, 6d pmk'd "6" with RIVERTON MR 16 1866 despatch alongside, reverse Invercargill MR 16 66 and Calcutta AP 28 1866 arrival.
£1625

1954 PRESTWICK DISASTER COVER and GREAT BRITAIN AMBULANCE COVER to JAMAICA
1954 charred edge back and front of cover pmk'd London 23 XII 54 together with contents to R.H. Ridler, Barclays Bank Ltd, Kingston, Jamaica, B.W.I. requiring completion of its journey, due such distressed condition, by Great Britain Post Office O.H.M.S. ambulance cover, both covers struck with purple boxed "SALVAGED MAIL/AIRCRAFT CRASH/PRESTWICK 25-12-54"., flap of latter poorly opened.
BOAC Boeing 377 Stratocruiser crashed on landing at Prestwick Airport in the early hours of Christmas Day 1954, 28 of the 36 onboard were killed.
£325







BRITISH KAFFRARIA WRAPPER from a SURVIVOR OF THE H.M.S. BIRKENHEAD TROOPSHIP DISASTER
In response for requests for testimonies from survivors the only surviving letter from the Cape: 1858 wrapper docketted "Andrews 20 Nov 1858" (the content removed but published) to David Seton, Portabello, near Edinburgh marked "Registered at King W Town 25.11.58" and "K.W.T. C.G. Hope" at lower left with two damaged copies 4d blue tied triangular handstamp with CAPE PACKET DEVONPORT JA 26 1859, red Crown/REGISTERED and red oval REGISTERED/LONDON 27 JA 59 alongside address panel, reverse red CAPETOWN DE 2 1858 transit, black Edinburgh and blue PORTABELLO JA 28 1859 arrivals.
Younger brother (Major) David Seton was quite determined from an early stage to gather as many facts as possible. He met many of the survivors personally and continued with his determination that the heroism displayed by his elder brother Alex should always be associated with the ‘Birkenhead’. Personal interviews, and correspondence with testimonies from survivors, continue as late as 1858-59 and he printed a little book on the Wreck of the ‘Birkenhead’ in Edinburgh in 1861, and again in 1873 and 1890 which was initially intended for private use and not for publication or sale. The Andrews testimony is published on pages 134/5 in "A Deathless Story" by A.C. Addison being a 318 page account of the Birkenhead.
£7250

PONDICHERRY, FRENCH INDIAN SETTLEMENTS to MAURITIUS postal history
1867 REYNAUD SOUPRAYA & Co, PONDICHERY sender cachet entire with strip of four QV 2a orange pmk'd PONDICHERRY "111" duplex dated FE 11 67 to Piper Adam & Co, Mauritius backstamped Madras transit and 2/MR 2 67 arrival, address panel with handstruck "6d TO PAY" in black. Exhibition item.
£1250

GREAT BRITAIN USED TWO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, Malta postal history
1861 mourning cover to Lt. Colonel Duncan Munro Bethune (1816-1870), 1st Battalion. 9th Regiment, Vernon House, Farnham, Surrey with GB 6d pmk'd "A25" duplex dated A/MALTA/JA 23 61, backstamped Farnham JA 23 61 arrival and forwarded to London with GB QV 1d red pmk'd "292" numeral on JA 25 61 with London transits.
Such GB combination covers are seldom found and extremely rare, and do not exist for most countries and agencies that were supplied with GB stamps.
£1200


INDIA postal history
1855 entire headed "Calcutta 19 May 1855" to Messrs Strahan, Paul & Bates in London with QV 1a tied by diamond of dots with rarely seen sender's red "FORWARDED BY/CHARLES CANTOR & Co/CALCUTTA" cachet alongside, boxed red "INDIA" with matching red G.P.O. 19 MAY 55 d/ring upper flap alongside London JY 2 arrival which can display.
£725

GREAT BRITAIN and ANTIGUA "both ways" postal history
1900 cover with GB QV 1d lilac pmk'd Chipping Norton AP 4 00 to Miss Bowen, The Point, St. Johns, Antigua with MY 4 00 (wider fleuron at base) backstamp, returned with Leeward Islands QV 1d pmk'd Antigua MY 9 00 (smaller fleuron at base), backstamped Bristol and Chipping Norton MY 25 00 cds, flap roughly opened.
£275
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